2 Palestinian gunmen shot in Nablus

Navy arrests two Palestinians off Gaza coast.

Two Palestinian gunmen were shot and wounded by soldiers in the Jabel Shamali neighborhood in Nablus early on Thursday. Soldiers arrested four wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists and another terror suspect. During the operation shots were fired and a bomb was set off near the troops. No Israelis were wounded. A Fatah fugitive and three Palestinians were arrested in the afternoon by soldiers after they attempted to run over an officer and ram their car through an impromptu IDF checkpoint near Dura, southwest of Hebron. According to security officials, the fugitive was involved in a number of shooting attacks against security forces. Acting on intelligence information, soldiers set up the checkpoint to nab the fugitive. The car approached the checkpoint and attempted to run through it and run over an officer. Soldiers opened fire at the car and threw stun grenades, causing the car to stop. The four were arrested and handed over to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for questioning. Two Palestinian youths were arrested by IDF reservists manning the Bekaot checkpoint east of Nablus after they were caught carrying two pipe bombs. The youths were handed over to security officials for questioning and sappers blew up the bombs. At the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus, soldiers arrested two Palestinians ages 18 and 19 after they were found to be carrying two knives with 15-centimeter blades. The two were handed over to security officials for questioning. Elsewhere in the West Bank, soldiers arrested a Fatah Tanzim fugitive south of Ramallah and another fugitive in Beit Rima northwest of Ramallah. Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesman confirmed that a navy patrol off the Gaza coast arrested two Palestinians in a fishing craft overnight Wednesday. The two were handed over to the Shin Bet for questioning. Further details were barred from publication. In preparation for the disengagement from Gaza, the navy constructed a barrier that extends from the Gaza-Israel border's northern security road into the Mediterranean to prevent Palestinian terrorists from swimming up the Israeli coast. In the past five years there have been a number of attempts by terrorists to infiltrate Israeli communities from the sea.
  • Last November, a heavily armed terrorist in a wetsuit was shot and killed after naval surveillance spotted him attempting to swim in from the sea and attack a settlement in northern Gaza.
  • In November 2003, security forces arrested an Islamic Jihad fugitive who was recruited to assist in planning and launching attacks from the sea.
  • In January 2003, an Israeli navy gunboat on a routine patrol off the north Gaza coast spotted a suspicious craft sailing in a restricted area. When the craft ignored warning shots to halt, the crew shot it, and the explosive-ridden craft blew up.
  • In November 2002, a naval command post in the Gaza Strip spotted a Palestinian fishing craft that had entered Israel's territorial waters and was sailing in a restricted area. A navy gunship was sent to inspect the boat, whose crew ignored calls to halt and blew up near the gunboat, wounding three soldiers.
  • In August 2002, a naval command post in the Gaza Strip spotted an armed terrorist wearing a wetsuit leaving the water and approaching a nearby Israeli community. An IDF patrol sent out by the command post shot and killed him. He was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle, eight grenades, four ammunition clips and two containers of acid.
  • In July 2002, security officials seized a shipment of guns and other weapons intended for the Palestinian Authority at the port of Ashdod. Two months earlier, a container had been packed with crates supposedly filled with a donation of toys sent to the Gaza Strip by an Islamic charity, but officials found they contained hundreds of kilograms of guns, ammunition, telescopic lenses, and night-vision equipment.
  • In June 2002, IDF units thwarted an attempt by terrorists to infiltrate Israel in the north Gaza Strip. Security forces spotted two terrorists swimming near Dugit in an attempt to enter Israel via the sea. The soldiers shot and killed the terrorists, who were carrying a bag with shrapnel grenades, a Kalashnikov rifle and four ammunition clips.
  • In January 2002, Israel naval commandos intercepted the Karine-A weapons ship en route to the Suez Canal carrying over 50 tons of weapons.